fxphd – Maya Foundations: Animation


fxphd – Maya Foundations: Animation
English | October 2014 | mp4 | H264 1440×900 | AAC 2 ch | 7 hrs 7 min | 2.45 GB
eLearning | Course Number: MYA221

This new Maya course is the next in our Maya Foundations series and looks to cover animation, both character and non-character based. Over the ten weeks well look in-depth at the fundamental building blocks of animation within Maya 2015, studying both the technical and artistic aspects through-out the course. Each class will be project based and homework will also be assigned if you wish to continue your studies outside of our time together.

The classes will be broken down into a number of key areas, starting with the fundamentals of animation, Keyframes. From there we focus on Path Animation, Creature Sets, Non-Linear Animation, and Animation Layers. Next well move to building rigs using Joints and setting up IK systems, Skinning, and applying Constraints. The last few classes will focus squarely on the art of animation looking at the Twelve Basic Principles of Animation as taught by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation. Throughout the course well also cover the main animation editors (Graph and Dope), Expression, Grease Pencil, Camera Sequencer, and how nDynamics can work with traditional Key Frame animation.

This course is aimed at anyone interested in animation inside of Maya, and will cover the tools to a more detailed level than ever before at fxphd. As mentioned above, its going to be very project based while covering all the main tools to a deep level. For the duration of the course well be using the latest version of Maya, currently 2015 Extension 1.

The course is taught by Matt Leonard who has been in the 3D and visual effects industry for over 20 years. He has been using Maya for over one and a half decades and has spoken on behalf of Alias/Wavefront (now Autodesk) over the years. He is a member of the Visual Effects Society and has worked as a beta tester for not only Maya but also Katana, Arnold, RenderMan, Mari, Nuke Studio, and Fusion. He currently runs his own on-site training company in the UK and is also the primary lecturer on the VFX Masters degree course for the University of South Wales.
course syllabus

Class 1
In our first class we will set the grounding for the classes to come, looking at the fundamental building blocks of animation based on Keyframe techniques. Welll learn about Euler Angles and Quaternions and how they affect rotation animation, along with gaining an understanding of Baking animation data. Well also look at the Time-Warping effects, working with the animation preferences and gain an understanding of how Maya counts time. Finally well explore the Graph Editor and the use of Breakdown keyframes.

Class 2
In our second week we start by looking at the various options for playing, previewing and Playblasting animation. From there well look at working with Animation Channels, Turntables and importing audio for animation reference. Well also cover Path Animation and the Flow Path Object options. Finally well look at working with Grease Pencil, and importing and exporting animation data via the ATOM format.

Class 3
In our third week we looking at various methods of connecting animated channels together including using the Connect Editor, Node Editor, Set Driven Key and Expressions. From there well look in more detail at working with Keyframes, including a deeper understanding of the Graph Editor and Dope Sheet. Finally well cover Ghosting and Motion Trails.

Class 4
In our fourth week we look at creating and working with Character and Sub-Character Sets. From there well begin looking at Mayas Non-Linear Animation editor Trax, including creating Clips and Poses, Normal and Blended states, along with Time Warps and Weighting. Well also look at how Characters, Groups, and Sub-Character operate within the Trax environment.

Class 5
In our fifth week well explore Animation Layers. Well start by gaining an understanding of Stacks, Modes, States and Weights, before moving on to look at how the Base lLayer affects everything. Next well cover the Camera Sequencer and how it can be used to manage multiple animated camera. Finally well look at the creation of Layers and how to animate with them, including layer organisation, manipulation and viewing.

Class 6
In our sixth week we switch gears to character animation. We start by looking at building skeletons using Joints, Bones and Joint Chains. Well explore attributes of a Joint, editing Joints including adding, moving, hierarchy, rerooting, setting preferred angle and mirroring. We then move on to look at Forward kinematics (FK), Inverse Kinematics (IK) and IK/FK blending. Finally well look at IK Handle and IK Spline Handle, and adjusting the display of the Joints themselves.

Class 7
In our seventh class we continue with character rigging, switching gears to Skinning (or enveloping). Well look at direct and indirect skinning methods, Bind Poses, and Smooth and Rigid skinning techniques. Finally well cover Point Weights, Geodesic Voxel binding and exporting and importing weights.

Class 8
In our eighth class we switch gears to look at Constraints and how these work with both character and non-character animated setups. Well explore how you can use these alongside Mayas nDynamics for interaction between Keyframe animation and physical dynamics. During the class well also look at Constraints including Pole Vector, Geometry, Point, Aim and Normal.

Class 9
In our ninth class we start to focus on the art of animation itself. Well begin by looking at posing including balance, symmetry, silhouettes, line of action, and staging. From there well talk about the very essence of animation including the subjects of timing to suggest weight, arcs, ease in and ease out, force and drag, squash and stretch, anticipation, overshoot, animating in cycles, and moving holds.

Class 10
Continuing with the art of animation: gravity, center of mass, and the 12 principles of animation.

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